Ramsey resident Mary Carol Ditaranto, a longtime member of the borough’s Emergency Service team, died Jan. 20, according to her obituary on the VanEmburgh-Sneider-Pernice Funeral Home website. Ditaranto was 64 and died peacefully, surrounded by her family members.
According to her obituary, EMS was a big part of Ditaranto’s life.
She “worked as the Controller of The Inventory Company of Fort Lee for 30 years, held many positions with the Ramsey Volunteer Ambulance Corps for over 20 years, was an EMS instructor at the Academy of Law and Public Safety in Mahwah, and most recently an EMT at the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island,” it said.
Ramsey’s emergency services are mourning the loss of the longtime member. Ambulance President Laura Behrmann and Chief Michael Migliaccio posted the following tribute on the borough’s Office of Emergency Management Facebook page:
It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ex-Chief, Past President and Life Member Mary Carol Ditaranto. As a testament to her long and continuously active career with the Corps, MC served in many roles through the years, most significantly as Chief and President. Her distinguished career with the Ramsey Ambulance Corps involved serving on many committees. MC was also an EMT Instructor who trained an entire generation of EMTs in not only Ramsey, but the entire New Jersey EMS community. Mary Carol's 22 years of service cannot be summed up in just a few paragraphs; they are too innumerable.
Mary Carol was a Chief during wartime. On September 11, 2001, and the days following, it was MC who commanded the Ambulance Corps, coordinating the multi-day response to the Jersey waterfront, Ground Zero and the continuous coverage in town. For many members, her strength and leadership helped carry the Corps through those dark days.
Many current members remember Mary Carol in her capacity as President. She oversaw the milestone achievement of instituting our clothing allowance, oversaw the recruitment efforts that brought in dozens of new members, and helped establish our current dress uniform.
As an EMT Instructor, Mary Carol was known as the lovable, and albeit sometimes gruff, instructor who challenged every one of her students to be the best EMT possible. For MC's students, it was not enough to be able to pass the skill- you had to know it. An entire generation of EMTs KNOW the KED, thanks to one instructor.
Most significantly, Mary Carol was a strong leader who also recognized the significance of understanding her members' needs emotionally and socially. She was a friend to us all. A veteran with the experience to give you guidance as a mentor, a teacher who would always be there to pass on her knowledge, a devil's advocate to help you work out a solution, and someone who was happy enough to listen to you well into a late night.
Her Thursday night crew mates will never forget the dinners at The NY Steakhouse. Her students will never forget how happy she was for them at each graduation.
It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to Mary Carol. Together, as a Corps, we will work through our grief about her passing. We will never forget MC, and thank her for leadership, mentorship, and her many years of service.
According to her obituary, MC leaves behind two loving daughters, two son-in-laws, four grandchildren, three sisters and many nieces, nephews and other family members.
Visitation will be held Thursday and Fridayfrom 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Van Emburgh-Sneider-Pernice Funeral Home in Ramsey. Ditaranto’s creamation will be private. In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to send donations can be made to The Ramsey Ambulance Corps, 41 South Island Ave, Ramsey, NJ 07446.